Cold weather can be a real drag for outdoor workers. Freezing temperatures, bitter wind chill factors, even frostbite can take their toll on employees' health, motivation and productivity. Here are some tips to keep you and your workers warm and well all winter long.
LET'S GET PHYSICAL
The temperature of each body part is directly related to blood flow to that area. When the outside temperature drops, your body automatically directs blood vessels near the surface of the skin to constrict in order to redirect blood flow toward vital internal organs like the heart and brain. It's the body's way of keeping vital organs warm and working. Hands and feet, which have many blood vessels at the skin's surface, are particularly sensitive to this process and lose much warming blood as a result.
Physical activity counters the cold by increasing flow of warming circulation. The good news is that a little effort can go a long way.
Don't Just Sit There! Standing will increase your heat production by 20% over sitting.
Get Into The Swing! For icy hands, swing arms windmill-style.
EAT TO HEAT
Eating is another antidote to cold, since the digestion process produces heat. Choose something hot. Cocoa and Jalapenos! Although the amount of actual heat ingested is small, hot foods and beverages give the nervous system a warmth signal that encourages blood flow to the extremities. Spicy foods will do this too.
Skip the Bud, Bud! Alcohol is poor choice when you're chilled. Alcohol is dehydrating and may suppress shivering, the involuntary muscle contraction through which the body warms itself.
No Smoking! Tobacco also constricts blood vessels and acts to cool the body.
Meat to Heat! Eating foods high in iron such as red meats and green leafy vegetables can help keep you warm. The body needs iron to make the thyroid hormone which stimulates heat production.
THE ART OF LAYERING
Air trapped between layers of clothes insulates better than a single heavy garment. Here are the basics.
Layer 1. Start with an undershirt or long johns in fabrics which trap body heat and wick moisture away from skin. Socks should be made of wool or wick-dry synthetic like Coolmax.
Layer 2. Wear long-sleeved cotton denim or flannel shirts which allow moisture to evaporate.
Layer 3. Pants and vests made of wool keep body core warm without bulk. Water-proof boots with felt liners or other insulation keep feet dry and warm.
Layer 4. Choose coats and jackets with fleece linings and outer shells made of wind- and water-resistant PVC coated nylon. Fleece is the fabric favored by professional skiers an mountain climbers because it retains natural body warmth even when wet and has a very high "warmth to weight" ratio making it effective without being bulky. Quilted poly/cotton is another excellent lining material. The quilting traps and retains body heat.
Layer 5. Hot Rods Winter Liners, Hats, Neck Warmers and Vest put climate control on your side to keep the entire body warm, especially when Hot Rods Warming Packs are inserted in garment pockets..
HOT RODS KEEP YOU WARM...EVEN IN FREEZING TEMPERATURES
Hot Rods Winter Liners and Warming Packs keep you warm and protected against winter's worst weather conditions. Simply slip air-activated, all day Hot Rods Warming Packs into Winter Liners, hats, headband, neck warmer or vest pockets and experience long lasting, super warming, all day heating action. Warming Packs are also work very well in gloves, shoes and pants pockets.